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  1. #755
    Quote Originally Posted by suffolk2012 View Post
    Any suggestions for learning more in this field. I am planning to take some hvac courses at a local college, but I am wondering if it is better for me to go to an actual technical school. thanks in advance
    Suffolk, IME, I have seen a lot of students come out of a technical school and they still don't know their butt from a hole in the ground...

    I have dealt with people from both Community Colleges and Technical schools and generally speaking, the community college students were more educated.

    just my 2 cents, I hope that helps

  2. #756
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    11,536

    I don't really understand the "side job" issue -

    Isn't a side-job just free-enterprise in action? Owning a company and working in the field I was often asked if I would do it "on the side". Sometimes I would just put a higher number on it and if it was questioned I would explain that since it was the only job I was doing it would receive my full attention and extraordinary effort level. If it was argued that it should lower then I asked if their concern was for how much I cheated my boss. You think I might not be cheating him Enough?

    Say I work for a company and also do un-associated work in the same field of endeavor at night and on weekends. Some would say that I am an enterprising person while others would say that I am scoundrel. Which is it? Where is the shadow-line?

    I full weeks work for my boss and so get paid for that 24% of my time - I sell that time to him on his terms. So how is what I do on the unpaid-for 66% of the rest of my time each week any of my bosses business?

    PHM
    ------




    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteSoxFan View Post
    Hello all. I have been in this field for over 15 years but I have been on the wholesale end of it. I graduated from HVAC school in the early 90s with the intention of being a service technician. While I was in school, the job placement program had gotten me a warehouse job with one of the local supply stores. I figured it was a good way to make 10 bucks/hr and learn more about the business while I finished school. Well, management liked me and promised me a good future so I stuck with it. Fast forward 15+ years and I'm still on this side of the counter =)
    I did dabble with (dare I say it) side jobs :cringe: and eventually did some moon lighting with legit contractors. Nowadays, I only work on equipment for family members and occasionally work with a friend that owns his own business.
    I came to this forum last year in seek of some technical advice. Turns out, I kinda like it here and want to stick around. I'm looking forward to getting my post count up so I can become a pro member. =)
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  3. #757
    Over the years I have heard many business owners complain of the side-jobbers doing the same job for significantly less than what they would charge.

    Because the side jobber does not have insurance, is most likely using his bosses vehicle, tools, and god knows what other parts, he has no overhead and is (from the business owners POV) "cheating" by not complying with the same business rules that he has to play by.

    From the way you explain, it doesn't seem like you are doing anything wrong, assuming all the materials and tools are in fact, your own...

    I sense this could quickly turn in to a heated debate and would detract from the goal of this topic so may I suggest that this be continued in another thread?

  4. #758
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Omaha NE
    Posts
    109
    I first got interested in the havc industry as a job, by a guy "moonlighting" after he had completed his work day. The guy was a friend of a friend and he told me how he liked the company he worked for and even though he had been offered more money from another company he would probably stay with his current employer. This sounded good to me, because at the time, my current employer was trying everything she could to lay off as many seasoned professionals (well paid employees) as she could. My point being that a moonlighting tech peaked my interest in the hvac field
    (I worked at a local TV station for 27 yrs as a broadcast engineer)

  5. #759
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    11,536

    Not at all -

    The point of this particular arena is to allow new people to get their post-count up. What better way than to get people talking about a subject on which they have opinions?

    PHM
    -------



    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteSoxFan View Post
    Over the years I have heard many business owners complain of the side-jobbers doing the same job for significantly less than what they would charge.

    Because the side jobber does not have insurance, is most likely using his bosses vehicle, tools, and god knows what other parts, he has no overhead and is (from the business owners POV) "cheating" by not complying with the same business rules that he has to play by.

    From the way you explain, it doesn't seem like you are doing anything wrong, assuming all the materials and tools are in fact, your own...

    I sense this could quickly turn in to a heated debate and would detract from the goal of this topic so may I suggest that this be continued in another thread?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  6. #760
    Good point Mikey

  7. #761
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Omaha NE
    Posts
    109
    Well, I got a "B" in my refrigeration class. I guess that is not too bad. I still have to take my final in electrical class, but I am a little more confident with this one. I sure learned a lot in my refrigeration class, and I also learned I have a ways to go yet

  8. #762
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    30
    Hello, my name is Rick and I got my 608 Universal last fall because a friend decided to replace the A/C units in his townhouse and asked me to help. He got a nice Mitsu split system with 3 indoor units and went with the 'duct' option rather than the wall mounted.

    It went from me helping him to the other way around pretty quickly. I was reading stuff off the net till way past midnight every night trying to figure out how to do it correctly.
    I soon realized that we would need somebody with CFC ticket to recover the refrigerent from the old units before they could be removed. He ( my friend ) had a friend, that had a friend, that knew somebody that was certified. Contact was made and 'Mike' came by to see what we were trying to do. He agreed to recover the 2 old systems and commision the new one, as well as do some duct fabrication. All the late night reading had peaked my interest, so I got a Study Guide set and stated learning the CFC rules. Two days later I went to the HVAC supply place to take the test. The proxy had to delay a day due to car problems, but that was OK by me as I could study another day. I did very well on my scores except on the Type I stuff. I only had an 80 on that section. I didn't get my test results till after the job was finished and I was back in NC so we still had Mike do the startup. It all went well and I did learn a lot.
    Now that the weather is warming up, I'm hoping to be able to find a chance to do some work in this field. Looking to get my foot in the door doing commerical type stuff.

    Rick

  9. #763
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    30
    Opps,.... said proxy when I meant proctor. The edit option goes away pretty quick here. Guess I will have to spend more time rereading before hitting the 'post' button.

    Rick

  10. #764
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vernon Center, MN
    Posts
    35
    Well I originally went to tech school for automotive repair and graduated and got a job and realized a few years in that i hated working on cars. My older brother is the HVAC estimator for the company i now work for. They needed another tech and i had a strong knowledge in refrigeration theory so they hired me. I did on the job training for 2 years and have been on my own now for three years. I took and passed my EPA 608 in 2006 as a Universal. I work for a smaller company where there is still only 2 techs. I love what i do everyday and look forward to going to work everyday. It is true what the veterans of the trade say, you really find out quickly how little you actually know when you get in the field by yourself for the first time without your supervisor there to coach you. I'm a hands on type of guy and enjoy the challenge that comes with troubleshooting HVAC equipment. I look forward to a long career in this field and can't wait to get NATE certified.

  11. #765
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    57
    Union member here. Been In the trade since I got out of high school, 7+ years later and I'm loving everyday I go to work. I have completed 3 of the 5 years of my union training ( paused for a few years because of the bad economy ) Received Universal on my EPA Test and have completed 4 NATE certs. IMO this Is the best trade anyone could ever get Into young or old, I love what we get to do everyday, Commercial or Residential Its all fun

  12. #766
    Hello to all, what a wealth of information this forum is! I initially became interested in HVAC/R because my company performs services to medical and laboratory refrigeration equipment. For instance we do a lot of service on Cryotomes. Basically, a cryotome is an instrument that is used to slice human tissue samples during surgery to prepare a slide for a pathologist to make a quick diagnosis of whatever they find suspicious. All of the slicing occurs inside of a refrigerated chamber that houses the microtome, which performs the slicing. Previously, we were only qualified to perform services to the electro-mechanical components of the equipment. If there was a problem with the refrigeration system, our customers had to call in a separate refrigeration service company. I thought to myself, why are we only working on half of the machine, doesn't make sense for us. Low and behold, back to school again to pursue more education. As I've read in previous posts, it really is amazing to find out how much I don't know. HVAC/R is a very interesting field to say the least. Seems like I never stop going to school, first an Associates in Biomedical Engineering Technology (glorified medical equipment mechanic), Bachelors in Computer Science (computer geek) and now on my way to another associates in HVAC/R Technology. I have to say troubleshooting HVAC/R systems in the field is fun as well as a challenge. Nice to meet you all and hope to become a professional member someday.

  13. #767
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    49
    graduated from HVAC/R school in '08. started off working as an install helper durring school. got laid off and had to temp for a couple years doing replacments, tinning, whatever people would want. did apartment maintenance for a year working on 160 res units and a dozen commercial rtus. finally got a job working in mostly service now, with a few installs and replacements. rules!

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